ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday came to the rescue of the wildlife detained at the federal capital’s only public zoo by handing over its management to the Federal Ministry of Climate Change.
The court in its decision ordered the Secretary Ministry of Climate Change to appoint an authorised officer who would look after the management of the Marghazar Zoo with the assistance of the Islamabad Wildlife Management Board (IWMB) and the amicus appointed by the court for its assistance.
During the course of proceedings, the existing management had conceded the dilapidated and miserable condition of wildlife in the zoo.
The court, in its prior verdicts, had directed the then zoo management to ensure treatment of the Himalayan Brown Bear, marsh crocodile and Mongolian Eagle which was not managed due to lack of funds and capacity as admitted by the management official.
Meanwhile talking to media, the petitioner Executive Director Center for Culture and Development (C2D) Dr. Nadeem Qamar said the management had accepted before the court that it failed to manage the affairs of the zoo and also lacked competence. They also confessed paucity of funds to provide better food and healthcare to the wildlife kept at the zoo, he added.
Dr. Nadeem said the animals at the zoo were maltreated by their caretakers. He cited the Kavan (the elephant) had drawn the public and media attraction due to maltreatment by the mahout. “He (mahout) used to take Rs 20 from every visitor and then provide sugarcane to the Kavan to eat, which has not been a diet of an elephant. For the purpose, he kept the Kavan hungry for hours.”
After the court’s decision, Chief Commissioner Islamabad visited the zoo to review arrangement for the animals.